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Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne: How much does it cost to live in these Swiss cities?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne: How much does it cost to live in these Swiss cities?
Different cities, different costs of living. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

How do wages and cost of living in general compare from one Swiss city to another? We crunched the numbers for Switzerland's most international cities and came up with some interesting answers.

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Swiss cities are consistently ranked among the most expensive in the world.

But how much does it really cost to live there if we take into account median wages versus prices for various products and services, as well as fixed costs such as rent and utilities?

We looked at selected available data for Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne — the four cities where most international residents live.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that these are current approximate averages, and can change on short notice, taking into account changing inflation rate and other factors.

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Zurich

Average monthly net salary: 6,240 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 3,832.92 francs; 2,737.92 francs farther from the centre

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 252.19 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 4.40 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 97.50 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,772.48 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 84.98 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 120 francs

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are 5,754.5 francs without rent
  • Estimated monthly costs for a single person are 1,571 francs without rent

You can see more Zurich prices here

READ MORE: Which Zurich municipalities have the lowest and highest tax rates?

Geneva 

Average monthly net salary: 5,446.28 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 4,219.05 francs; 3,016.67 francs farther from the centre.

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 192.70 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 3 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 70 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,054.62 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 84.98 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 115 francs.

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are 4,981.5 francs without rent.
  • Estimated monthly costs for a  single person are 1,357.90 francs without rent

You can see more Geneva prices here

The city of Geneva. Photo: Pixabay

Basel

Average monthly net salary: 5,984.90 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 2,718.18 francs; 2,055.56 francs farther from the centre

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 268.66 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 3.60 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 80 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,487.50 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 72.21 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 112.50 francs.

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four  are 5,995 francs without rent
  • Estimated monthly costs for a single person are 1,636 francs without rent

You can see more Basel prices here

READ MORE: What we know about Basel's international residents 

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Lausanne

Average monthly net salary: 5,063.62 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 3,127.27 francs; 2,570 francs farther from the centre

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 285.28 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 3.70 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 74 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,511.11 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 78.69 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 105 francs.

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are 5,504.3 francs without rent
  • Estimated monthly costs for a single person are1,522 francs without rent

You can see more Lausanne prices here.

READ MORE: Why the Swiss city of Lausanne is so popular among foreigners

And the conclusion is:

  • Local Purchasing Power in Zurich is 6.8 percent higher than in Geneva
  • Local Purchasing Power in Zurich is 2.8 percent lower than in Basel
  • Local Purchasing Power in Zurich is 13.8 percent higher than in Lausanne

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